The US Department of Transportation fined Frontier Airlines $400.000 for repeated breaches of the Air Carrier Access Act (Part 382).
The DOT’s Enforcement Office staff reviewed approximately 375 disability complaints from all months of calendar years 2014 and 2015.
The Aviation Consumer Protection Division found the budget airline failed to provide passengers with reduced mobility “adequate and timely wheelchair assistance to passengers with disabilities in moving within the terminal, in pre-boarding the aircraft, and in enplaning and deplaning the aircraft.”
A significant number of these violations occurred at Frontier’s Denver International Airport hub.
Frontier acknowledged they failed to provide adequate and timely wheelchair assistance to passengers with disabilities.
In addition to this, The DOT found that approximately 110 of the carrier’s written responses to disability related complaints reviewed did not meet the standards set forth by the ACAA.
“In nearly all of the carrier’s 110 responses, Frontier did not discuss the complaint at issue, specifically admit or deny whether the carrier believed that a violation of Part 382 occurred under the circumstances, summarize the facts and reasons that led the carrier to its conclusion of whether or not a violation of Part 382 occurred, explain the steps the carrier will take if it finds a violation, and/or advise the complainant of his or her right to pursue DOT enforcement action under Part 382”, the Consent Order states.
The Aviation Consumer Protection Division also found that Frontier admitted in its response letters that a violation of the ACAA took place, but did not appear to have investigated the incident.
Frontier said improvements have been made in customer complaint handling, wheelchair handling, denied boarding, and overall customer care, including a “robust system to track, investigate, and provide timely dispositive responses.”